Eric Crookshank started the weekend guaranteeing a pair of Halifax Rainmen wins. He sat unhappily on the bench on Sunday watching that guarantee go up in smoke.

Crookshank, a 6-foot-8 forward who led the Rainmen in scoring last season, was benched for more than two quarters, a 25-minute stretch, as his team lost 105-103 to the Montreal Sasquatch before a crowd of 1,300 at the Metro Centre.

“When you have one of your top players on the bench for two quarters, I don’t understand that at all,” Crookshank said. “Soon as I’m in the game, there’s mad energy. I’ve proven I’m a great player. I don’t know why I was benched.”

The mood following Sunday's loss was much different than it was after Friday’s home-opener in the Premier Basketball League. The Rainmen made a big impression on the crowd of 4,012, cruising past the Quebec Kebs 124-112. Crookshank led the way with 26 points and nine rebounds.

Crookshank was subbed out yesterday at 3:41 of the first quarter with his team down 21-12. He was subbed back in to loud cheers with 2:18 left in the third quarter. The Rainmen trailed 70-60 and had made little progress in his absence.

“I wanted to sub myself in,” Crookshank said. “I got a teaspoon of coffee and I wanted a whole cup.”

Rainmen head coach Rick Lewis answered “no” when asked if Crookshank played well before being subbed out.

“We had to find the right combination of players that would get us going and keep us going,” Lewis said.

Crookshank fuelled a fourth-quarter rally and still finished with a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds). He said there’s “no I in team” and will be back at practice this week.

It was the first loss of the year for the first-place Rainmen (3-1).